How to Decorate Your Porch for Christmas in a Warm Climate
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I am beyond thrilled to be teaming up with Balsam Hill to bring you my fresh & festive front porch with Floridian flare (say that ten times fast) this holiday season! Although they’re known for their gorgeous, lifelike Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, etc., I was still pleasantly surprised to find an absolutely perfect array of outdoor decor for our northeast Florida home! I know I’m not the only Floridian, Southerner or other warm climate dweller who has struggled with what in the world to put on the front porch during Christmastime! I mean, we’ve got palm trees and green grass and somehow those standard faux pine garlands just were NOT cutting it! Prior to this year, my front porch decor was pretty comical. Or sad, depending on my mood. ;) But now, I’m proud to show it off with the help of Balsam Hill’s gorgeous outdoor collection! Pssst! If you’re in a warm climate out West, Balsam Hill actually has a new line of Winter Succulent Foliage that is fit for desert-dwellers too! How amazing is that!?
From their website, I selected the White Berry Cypress Foliage from the Classics collection, which is outdoor safe. Amazingly, the collection is composed of realistic bay laurel, cypress, and cedar leaves, all of which can be found naturally growing in Florida! How fitting, right? Here is a an up close shot of my matching White Berry Cypress Topiary! I ordered two and I just love them! For the best results, pull apart the leaves and branches to shape the topiary balls, garlands and wreath.
Since I like to start my holiday decorating early, I love that this greenery is even perfect for Thanksgiving! If you prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to get your Christmas on, just add some bows and other festive decor when you’re good and ready! This collection will transition through any season!
To visualize which products I’d need to create the look I wanted on my front porch, I drew up a simple sketch in my iPhone photo app. It might sound silly and pretty basic, but it does help me plan! Also, let’s not forget the power of just standing and staring at your space to really get those creative juices flowing! In the meantime, my husband and pooch wonder why I’m standing on the front porch sipping coffee in my slippers staring up at the house. Ha! Hey, whatever works, right? ;)
Since I’m a fan of neutrals and fresh looking greenery, I opted to use a neutral gray as my accent color this year! I found the cutest customizable door mat from Nickel Designs Shop on Etsy that says, “Holly Jolly” in gray lettering. It perfectly matches my flat weave rug that I layered underneath it. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know my goal through October is to “skip the creepy crawlies and head straight to the holly jollies”! Basically, let’s get Halloween over with and bring on the Christmas decor! :D
Measuring from the base of the door to the top of the window arch, I knew I’d need two White Berry Cypress Garlands which are each 10 ft long. You can order them separately or as a pair. First, I unfolded them, laid them out flat and spread the branches apart, leaving the “back” of the garland flat so it could lay nicely against the wall.
Each item is pre-lit with LED lights and has its own battery box with a timer at the back of it. No more messy extension cords on the porch! Simply twist it on or off or take advantage of the timer that stays on for 8 hours and goes off for 16 hours.
Figuring out how I would hang the garlands was my main concern. However, I was able to accomplish this task with my own two hands! All I needed was a ladder, a few small drywall nails, a hammer and some twist ties.
Forgive the squinting. We had a really bright day in the Sunshine State!
I held the garland high enough with one hand so that I could eyeball how much excess garland I would need to drape over the window and connect with the second garland at the center point of the window arch above the door. I hammered in a nail at either side of the door molding and used a twist tie to wrap around the main wire in the garland and loop it around the nail head. It was really quite simple! Lastly, I joined the two ends of the garlands together and wrapped the wired ends around the center nail to create a seamless look above the door.
You can see where I placed my nails to get this look. Three of them are spaced evenly across the top of the window molding.
Along with the set of 10 ft. garlands and two topiary shrubs, I also picked out this beautiful matching wreath! To add a little bit of fun, I curled up the ends of the bow I tied from this Silver and Platinum Christmas Tree Ribbon and tied it to the center of the wreath. You can keep it simple or really go crazy with the ribbon! It’s such an easy and temporary way to switch up your decor each year.
Each topiary shrub has a weighted base making it ideal for the outdoors. A little wind won’t even phase these cuties! I set my topiary shrubs in square woven baskets, but you could leave them plain or dress them up with ribbon, decorative pots or any other sort of container.
I even brought out my driftwood reindeer and some scented candles and placed them in lanterns to enjoy at dusk. What a great way to welcome guests before a holiday party!
If you’re looking for more ideas on what you can add to your outdoor spaces, you have to check out Balsam Hill’s Outdoor Christmas Decorations and Lights! My favorites are these beautiful little gold LED trees!
This year, I wanted to keep things simple, fresh and cozy. I removed the colorful chair cushions from my bistro set and brought out a few gray velvet pillows from inside along with a plaid throw to cuddle up with. The evening air really cooled down so it was a great place to sit and watch the sun dip behind the tall pines at the edges of our neighborhood.
I am so glad I chose to drape the garlands across the window rather than follow the edge of the window trim, because from inside the house the view of the greenery draping down and lights glowing is really beautiful!
Here’s a little sneak peek from the interior. I’ll be unveiling my Christmas Home Tour soon, and I hope you’ll subscribe to my newsletter so you won’t miss it!
The moon traded places with the sun and in went my velvet pillows and wool throw before the night dew settled in. (All you Southerners know what I’m talking about!) For 24/7 coziness, just add some neutral outdoor pillows and you won’t have to worry about bringing them in.
The porch is still left with a gorgeous glow! I can safely say we’re the first house in our neighborhood that’s ready for Santa to come!
It looks like my other “reindeer” is ready for dinner. She’s always got her eye on me.
I’ve received many questions lately about how to decorate the outdoors for Christmas from snowbirds, Florida transplants, etc. I, too, struggled with this for quite a while, but I hope that you are now inspired to create a beautiful and natural looking front porch for the holidays…even if you’re decorating in your flip flops! ;)